The folks who built the iBubble — the first autonomous underwater camera drone — recently wrapped up their IndieGogo campaign and exceeded their US$75,000 (67,340 Euro) crowdfunding target by a whopping 260 percent.
Having raised more than $201,733 (181,162 Euros) via 15,000-plus supporters, the team is on its way to industrialization and final product delivery in the Summer of 2017.
Among those supporters are Guillaume Nery, Sylvia Earle, the Cousteau family, François Sarano (co-author of the movie “Oceans”), Andy Torbet (BBC and Discovery Presenter), Umberto Pelizzari, Carlos Coste, Laurent Ballesta and more.
Nicolas Gambini, CEO and Co-Founder of Notilo Plus, the company behind iBubble, said:
“We are delighted and more than happy about this result. It definitively confirms the enthusiasm we met during initial market research within the diving community and at tradeshows where we exhibited. For a large number of divers, it is definitely a dream to easily capture quality footage of their underwater adventures.”
The iBubble offers the ability to create and share quality movies of a diver’s underwater adventures with people on land, without worrying about the camera.
Using innovative underwater tracking technology, the drone follows a specific diver. The installed camera transforms what is seen by the diver into unique films or can even be used to record the diver’s own movements for later analysis and improvement of technique.
The iBubble follows its owner via a connected bracelet for one hour and up to a depth of 60m (200ft). The bracelet is also used to switch between three pre-set filming modes, where it just follows the diver, completes a full circle around the diver keeping him/her in the center of the shot, or zooms in or out for wide-angle/close-up views.
So with all that money, what’s the next step for the iBubble team?
In addition to working on software, electronic architecture, and design, the next big step will involve testing in the Fall of 2016 and the release of the final functional prototype in the Spring of 2017. Additionally, the team will simultaneously carry out efforts to set up relevant distribution channels.
The iBubble folks also announced they were in discussions with Hexo+ regarding a possible technological partnership where iBubble would be able to reuse some technical elements from the autonomous aerial drone and to benefit from the Hexo+ team’s experience.
You can find out more about the iBubble via their website.